Ralph Deleon, aged 26, born in the Philippines and residing in Ontario, and Sohiel Omar Kabir, aged 37, an American citizen born in Afghanistan, were indicted in September after an almost seven-week trial.
Two other persons, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali had already being involved in the case in 2012.They are to be sentenced mid-March this year.
A jury established the men were blameworthy of planning to give material backing to terrorists and plotting to kill U.S. military and federal staff. Deleon was likewise sentenced for plotting to murder, torture or snatch Americans abroad, reported Thom Mrozek, representative for the U.S. attorney’s office.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura further noted that the case is yet another proof of the need for awareness and rapid action to fight the bogus charm of rough fanaticism. The legal representative also added:
“When confronted with young Americans who succumbed to the empty promises of violent extremism and sought to assist a terrorist group in killing American soldiers abroad, law enforcement acted swiftly to eliminate the threat.”
Prosecutors claimed that Kabir landed in Afghanistan in July 2012 and convinced Deleon and the others to go along with him saying that he was associated with terrorist groups. Kabir advised the men that would join the Taliban once in Afghanistan, which is alluded to as “the students” and later Al Qaeda, which he nicknamed “the professors.”
Deleon, Gojali and Santana prepared for the mission using AK-47s and joining paintball courses in Southern California.
They wanted to join Kabir abroad, but initially concocted a plan to prevent being discovered by law enforcement officials .The men intended to go to Mexico via land and fly into the Middle East. Deleon bought the flight tickets for the gathering.
However, as they exited a condo in Chino for Mexico in November 2012, FBI agents intercepted their vehicle and captured them. Kabir was detained by U.S. military staff in Afghanistan.
In a letter to the court, Deleon said his activities were not rational.
“I am ready to face the consequences for my actions, which were senseless. I have no excuse for my actions and believed I was following the correct version of Islam, which is extreme and radical.
Kabir’s lawyers claimed he moved to Germany to get a new life and when his plan wasn’t effective, he moved back to Afghanistan to stay with family. They added that Kabir never consented to the other men coming to Afghanistan
Image Source: The Los Angeles Times